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Something Profound
Tufted Titmouse
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23 Apr 2021, 12:14 pm

Hello everyone. I am a 38 year old male who has, over the past two years, grappled with the possibility that I may be on the spectrum for ASD. I was originally introduced to the idea by my mother who, in conversation, informed me that special ed Autistic children she works with as a teacher have similar behaviors as those I had as a child (and still have to some degree), and that in her professional education about Autism she finds more similarities with such a diagnosis with what I experienced as a kid.

That...took me awhile to process. Not in a negative light, but it was kinda like a lightbulb turning on in a dark room and having to adjust to the new lighting. But I could see things more clearly at last!

Since then I have reflected a lot on my own past behaviors and behaviors I have to this day. Things that seemed natural for me to do, but set me apart as being strange or unusual, suddenly made more sense when viewed through the ASD lens. I finally felt like there was an explanation for what I go through.

However, I am also extremely anxious in my doubts. I have spent my entire life thinking I was neurotypical. Weird, but "normal" (as if there is such a thing). I have a fairly functioning life (I struggle a ton with stressors from sudden changes, but I always thought that was normal for everyone). I am capable in social interactions. My doubts that come up frequently are that maybe I am just a bit odd or strange, and that could explain all of it. Maybe I am just introverted and dislike social interaction, even though I can do ok at it. I find I am suffering a little bit from a kind of imposter syndrome: Am I "Autistic enough" to qualify as Autistic?

There is, naturally, a lot that lies behind those thoughts and feelings. I took an empathy quotient test and scored pretty low, which surprised me (I consider myself pretty empathetic, and in fact my job hinges on it to a certain degree). I took an adult Autism quotient test as well, and scored above a 32 (34 in fact), which is right in the category of "possibly autistic, consider getting assessed." I have been reading blogs and articles and research...almost obsessively I find...and I find myself saying, "Ah, yeah, I experienced that too" quite a lot.

Anyway, I am rambling. These past two weeks I finally took the initiative to seek a diagnosis. That is quite some time out. In the mean time I am trying still to come to terms with what this means for me. And I have to admit that I am a bit afraid of the diagnosis. NOT because I am afraid of being on the spectrum. That actually fits for me, and won't materially change who or what I am save for just having the final confirmation of my identity. What scares me more is discovering that the diagnosis does not fit, and then being back at square one.

But, all that being said, my inner turmoil being vented out openly for everyone here to see, I guess what I really should be focusing on is saying "Hi," and "Nice to meet everyone."



funeralxempire
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23 Apr 2021, 12:19 pm

Howdy. :mrgreen:


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Double Retired
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23 Apr 2021, 5:30 pm

Welcome to WP! No matter your eventual diagnosis, I hope you find WP a nice place to keep visiting.

Your case has some similarities to mine in that both of us received a hint courtesy of a serendipitous parental insight.

I'd always felt kind of separate from everyone else. I attributed it to being a strong INTJ. In my 50's, though, I began suspecting that maybe I was medically different from everyone else--but I did not suspect Autism.

I was 64 when things got "interesting". My (very old) father is still alive and one of my sisters lives near him. She works as a nanny for special needs children and happened to have one with her on one of her visits to Dad. I was later told that Dad watched the kid and observed that he was doing the same "weird" things I used to do. (I would have been doing them during the Eisenhower Administration so apparently I made quite an impression on Dad!)

I learned of this at the beginning of 2019--and I was confused and surprised. My sister had previously mentioned the kid and said they thought he might be Autistic! I knew almost nothing about Autism and certainly had never entertained the thought that I might be Autistic, and I'd never even heard of the Autism Spectrum. Nonetheless, since I was curious I went to the Internet to most likely rule out Autism.

That's not what happened. The more I read about Autism Spectrum Disorders the more I saw myself in there. My bride also did some poking around on the Internet and agreed with that assessment. We both thought I might be a "High Functioning Autistic".

After reaching that conclusion I decided to get an Adult Autism Assessment so I'd know for sure if I was Autistic or what I later learned is called "Borderline Autism". My insurance provider was quite willing but also quite clueless. They gave me referrals to folk who did not do assessments. Then they said I could find a provider but gave me incorrect information about what credentials the provider would have to have. That wasted a few months. When I finally found out that the information from the insurance company was wrong things went smoother and faster. And shortly before my 65th birthday I got the formal diagnosis:

Autism Spectrum Disorder, Level 1 (Mild)
With additional notes that I satisfied the criteria formerly associated with High Functioning Autism and Asperger's Syndrome.

I've shared the info with my other medical providers and it has done me no good. They still work the way they always worked. But I otherwise decided I wanted to tell my family in-person before sharing the news wider. Sigh.
- I waited for holiday season :santa: because that's when I'd see most of my family in person.
- Then came tax season :-|
- Then came surgery season :silent: (I'm old!)
- Then came Pandemic season 8O
- And it's still Pandemic season :wall: (Thanks, Trump!)

But I also found WP. It's a nice place to visit. There are interesting people here...some are awesome, some not so much (just like Earth). And, I've learned quite a bit, too. I hope you like it, too!


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Last edited by Double Retired on 23 Apr 2021, 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mountain Goat
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23 Apr 2021, 5:33 pm

Welcome.


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CarlM
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23 Apr 2021, 6:32 pm

Welcome to Wrong Planet. Your mothers recall of your childhood traits is very useful for a diagnosis.


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AnonymousAnonymous
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24 Apr 2021, 2:39 pm

Welcome to Wrong Planet! :)


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NaturalEntity
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24 Apr 2021, 3:02 pm

Hello and welcome.


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aquafelix
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28 Apr 2021, 5:30 am

A warm welcome to Wrong Planet



CockneyRebel
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03 May 2021, 9:19 pm

Welcome to WPea! :mrgreen:


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